Mazo Hardware Case Study Mazo Hardware Case Study
While the owner describes it as a “traditional, small-town hardware store,” Mazo Hardware & Rental has proven to be much more than that. A one-stop shop for the small town of Mazomanie, Wisconsin — population 1,167 — the store serves its community by offering a wide variety of products and services. The independent, family-owned business includes its 6,700 square-foot hardware store, a full garden center, a sizable fleet of light-construction and landscape rental equipment, and a friendly, helpful staff known to go above-and-beyond for its customers.
“We really do our best to open our hearts and our store to help customers in whatever way that they might need,” said Renee Zaman, owner of Mazo Hardware & Rental
Company juggles heavy workload — and materials
“Propane works really well for all of the pallet moving that we do around here. Electric just wouldn’t do it.”
Owner of Mazo Hardware & Rental
The business’ multifunctional operation is no small undertaking. Whether it’s pallets of salt for corporate customers, bags of feed for nearby farmers, or garden mulch for local green thumbs, material is moving at a furious pace.
In fact, material by the truckload is delivered almost daily, meaning the company needs a way to efficiently move product off the trucks quickly to keep its customers satisfied.
Propane forklifts ensure efficient, consistent operation
Since 2009, the company has trusted a propane forklift to keep its business running. Propane forklifts maintain 100 percent power throughout operation — pushing heavy loads at full capacity faster and longer than electric forklifts — enabling the Mazo crew to keep up with its daily demand and enhance productivity.
“Propane works really well for all of the pallet moving that we do around here,” Zaman says. “Electric just wouldn’t do it.”
In addition to handling heavier loads better, the life expectancy of a propane cylinder is also three times longer than the life expectancy of an electric forklift battery. They hold up so long in fact, cylinders typically last longer than the typical lifespan of a forklift itself.
The fuel’s strong performance record, and ability to handle a wide variety of load weights, are a few reasons it’s continually a popular solution in the middle and top forklift weight classes. According to a survey conducted by the Propane Education and Research Council, propane-fueled forklifts dominate the middle weight class of forklifts (5,000 to 10,000 pounds), with 70 percent of fleet managers opting for propane forklifts. Propane leads the top weight class (10,000 pounds or more), too, as 51 percent of fleet managers opt for propane-fueled forklifts.
Because of the harried pace of operations at Mazo, the company needs a forklift that could offer little-to-no downtime. Whether in large operations or small fleets, propane provides the quick refueling necessary to keep material moving. Swapping out or filling up an empty propane cylinder eliminates the need for additional expensive, heavy batteries or downtime spent recharging. And because Mazo Hardware also sells propane, they’re able to simply refill the cylinder on-site.
“You just unscrew the tank, fill it up, and hook it back up,” Zaman says. “Two to three minutes of downtime, then we are ready to go again.”
For businesses without a propane tank on-site, the refueling strategy can be tailored to their operation. For example, companies can work with a local propane supplier to set up a cylinder-exchange program, in which a supplier exchanges empty cylinders with full ones in a cylinder cage located on the company’s property.
Not only does Zaman’s forklift set itself apart thanks to its performance and reliability, the company’s propane forklift is also quite the statement piece — easily spotted by its vibrant paint job. The equipment was painted “girl power” pink, inspired by Zaman, a former preschool teacher turned business owner and “Hardware Queen”. Truck drivers making deliveries to the store oftentimes saw Zaman, the primary forklift operator, and were quick to offer a helping hand with unloading materials. But her ability to handle the job in its entirety is now communicated through her pink forklift.
“I used to be a goddess and now I’m a queen,” Zaman says.
Propane sets Mazo ahead of the competition
Mazo Hardware & Rental’s “girl power” pink propane forklift has proven to be a valuable, lucrative asset to the business. For a small-town hardware store, their 2018 annual sale calculations — 1.3 million dollars in revenue — speak for itself. The store’s propane forklift has played an integral role in business expansion over the last several years.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve really opened up purchasing by the truckload and there’s no way I could have done that if I didn’t have this forklift,” Zaman says.
Without a propane forklift, unloading materials by the truckload would be a much more laborious undertaking. Zaman can unload nine pallets in roughly 10 minutes, while a nearby hardware store has to unload by hand, breaking every pallet down and rolling them into the store with a dolly — because they don’t own a propane forklift. That method, as you can imagine, takes much longer.
Learn more about how propane forklifts can impact business productivity at Propane.com/Forklifts.